Big Data in Parkinson’s Disease: Using Smartphones to Remotely Detect Longitudinal Disease Phenotypes

Prince, John, Arora, Siddharth and de Vos, Maarten (2018) Big Data in Parkinson’s Disease: Using Smartphones to Remotely Detect Longitudinal Disease Phenotypes. Physiological Measurement, 39 (4).

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Objective: To better understand the longitudinal characteristics of Parkinson's disease (PD) through the analysis of finger tapping and memory tests collected remotely using smartphones. Approach: Using a large cohort (312 PD subjects and 236 controls) of participants in the mPower study, we extract clinically validated features from a finger tapping and memory test to monitor the longitudinal behaviour of study participants. We investigate any discrepancy in learning rates associated with motor and non-motor tasks between PD subjects and healthy controls. The ability of these features to predict self-assigned severity measures is assessed whilst simultaneously inspecting the severity scoring system for floor-ceiling effects. Finally, we study the relationship between motor and non-motor longitudinal behaviour to determine if separate aspects of the disease are dependent on one another. Main results: We find that the test performances of the most severe subjects show significant correlations with self-assigned severity measures. Interestingly, less severe subjects do not show significant correlations, which is shown to be a consequence of floor-ceiling effects within the mPower self-reporting severity system. We find that motor performance after practise is a better predictor of severity than baseline performance suggesting that starting performance at a new motor task is less representative of disease severity than the performance after the test has been learnt. We find PD subjects show significant impairments in motor ability as assessed through the alternating finger tapping (AFT) test in both the short- and long-term analyses. In the AFT and memory tests we demonstrate that PD subjects show a larger degree of longitudinal performance variability in addition to requiring more instances of a test to reach a steady state performance than healthy subjects. Significance: Our findings pave the way forward for objective assessment and quantification of longitudinal learning rates in PD. This can be particularly useful for symptom monitoring and assessing medication response. This study tries to tackle some of the major challenges associated with self-assessed severity labels by designing and validating features extracted from big datasets in PD, which could help identify digital biomarkers capable of providing measures of disease severity outside of a clinical environment.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, motor & non-motor learning, longitudinal phenotypes, digital biomarkers, smartphones, m-health, health care; management science
Subject(s): Health care
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2018 13:31
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2018 10:16
Funders: N/A

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